Is a vasectomy right for you? Top things to consider

Portrait shot of an attractive, successful and happy middle aged man male arms folded outside wearing a blue sweater

A vasectomy is a safe, outpatient (same day) procedure that makes a man sterile (unable to father a child). It’s the most effective birth control method for men while also being a simple and relatively inexpensive procedure. However it is a major step, and you and your partner should know all the facts and share in the decision. Our Board Certified Surgeons at Medical Associates have put together some key facts and questions to consider when contemplating this form of birth control.

Think it through:
Having a vasectomy should be thought of as a permanent decision. Before you make this choice, be sure it’s what you want. Many men choose it because their families are complete. Others choose it because it is more reliable than other birth control methods. If you choose a vasectomy, you and your partner should be in agreement and you should have no doubts about your decision. A vasectomy will not fix problems you and your partner may be having. And it is not a choice that you should make during times of stress.

Know your facts:
A vasectomy is safe and effective. There are no serious complications associated with vasectomies. Most men feel perfectly normal after surgery, with only minor discomfort. The procedure is far safer than the equivalent operation for women, a tubal ligation. A vasectomy also will not affect your sex drive. Your male hormone levels remain the same. It has no effect on libido or the ability to perform sexually.

The procedure:
Prior to surgery, you will have a consultation with your doctor. A vasectomy is an outpatient procedure and it is done in an exam room in the Surgery Department at the East Campus of Medical Associates. You will be awake for the procedure (which takes around 30-45 minutes) and a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. As with any surgery, there are possible risks and complications. Your doctor will discuss these potential risks with you prior to your surgery during your consultation appointment.

After surgery:
After the procedure, you will need to rest (with minimal movement) for the next several days to recover and may be given a prescription painkiller to take as needed. Again, most men feel perfectly normal after surgery, with only minor discomfort. Although you may feel well, it is strongly advised that you take the time to rest and recover. After three days you should be able to resume normal activities, but with caution. After a vasectomy, some active sperm remain in the semen. You and your partner need to use another form of birth control until lab tests prove you are sterile. This is done at a follow up appointment a couple months after the procedure. You will be asked to provide a sample that will be tested to verify that you are sterile.

To schedule an appointment at Medical Associates, please contact 563-584-3450 to set up a consultation. In most cases, this procedure is covered by your insurance and only requires an office visit co-pay. Please check with your health insurance provider if you are unsure.


1000 Langworthy  |  Dubuque, Iowa 52001  |  563.584.3450


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